Congratulations to our staff who were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of the amazing work they do on behalf of students with disabilities in PSD!

The following staff members were recognized at the Integrated Services Quarterly Meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2020.  Their nominations were filled with praise from several co-workers; read on for just a few excerpts.

Jeanne Abkarian, IEP System Coordinator – Integrated Services Enrich Support Team
“Jeanne is an incredible example of dedicating a career to the students in PSD.  She devotes her time and attention, her true heart to every aspect of her position.  Her knowledge of Enrich and the District as a whole, are an incredible asset to us all.  Jeanne sees every child as an incredible individual.  She works daily to ensure they are served as best as possible through our Integrated Services Dept.  Like a bloodhound she will comb those IEPs! Through this unique Covid time she has been a rock for so many.  Day after day, phone call after phone call, she continues to share hope and encouragement.”

Jill Frey, Multi-categorical Teacher – Rocky Mountain High School
“Jill is a dedicated department head. She works diligently to ensure everyone on the team is continually growing and working towards being their best selves. Jill is organized, focused and enthusiastic (in a quiet kind of way.)  She is a natural born leader who works hard to place everyone in roles in which they are able to show their skills and meet each student’s needs in and individual way. Thank you for always being a problem solver, Jill.”

Rachel Hesse, Multi-categorical Teacher – Boltz Middle School
“Rachel excels at building strong, positive relationships with students and their families.  She is so thoughtful and considerate with her words, always responding as an advocate for the student.  Rachel is also a team player.  In moments of need, she is always the first person to volunteer to help out her colleagues with paperwork, services, or holding meetings on their behalf.  She is also a great problem solver, identifying needs and coming up with realistic and actionable solutions.  I appreciate her experience, knowledge, and energy she brings to the team.”

Tatiana Lee, Paraprofessional – Beattie Elementary
“Tatiana has been a wonderful team member. She goes above and beyond to meet the needs of all students. During remote learning, Tatiana has found creative ways to engage students. In person, she makes the most of the time she has with students. She cares about the whole student socially, emotionally, and academically; taking the time to get to know them and build a relationship. She is always ready to jump in and help out when needed. We are lucky to have her a part of our team.”

Jessica Loveall, School Psychologist – Laurel Elementary
“Jessica is a very valuable member of our IS team at Laurel. Her commitment to meeting the needs of our students is evident in the time she spends getting to know each student and collaborating with those who work closely with each student. She develops IEP goals and behavior plans that focus on the reasons for the behavior, student strengths and uses their interests for reinforcement. Jessica is readily available when we have questions and when she does not know the answer, she will assist us in finding it. I often will use her as a sounding board for ideas. She is always willing to listen and give her input. It is a joy working with someone of her high professional caliber.”

Jill Savage, Occupational Therapist – Traut, Werner and Preston
“Jill brings such a wealth of knowledge to our program. She is always willing to jump right in where needed, and she has a calm demeanor that helps diffuse challenging student behaviors and situations.”  “She is calm and steady in both her work ethic and ability to engage students. She is a true team player and is looked up to by her colleagues. She continually makes herself available and shares her breadth of knowledge around sensory and motor skills with parents, teachers, colleagues, and students. She often goes above and beyond to support students in general education if needed as well.”

Lacy Vannorsdel, Speech Language Pathologist – O’Dea Elementary
“Lacy is a positive light and force of goodness at O’Dea! She juggles a large caseload and is always centering the students’ needs and best interest! Lacy has a heart of gold; she always cultivates a sense of community and team. Lacy is creative, flexible, and an expert in her field! She is always willing to jump in support where she can and share knowledge and positivity with staff and students! Despite everything changing during this pandemic, nothing has changed about the amazing way Lacy cares and works for her students! O’Dea wouldn’t be the same without Lacy Vannorsdel!”

Ian Wells, Multi-categorical Teacher – Rocky Mountain High School
“Ian goes above and beyond every day. Whenever someone on the team needs help, Ian is the first one to offer. He never complains and always has a positive attitude. No matter how challenging a relationship may be with a family or student, Ian is always professional and works hard to solve the issues at hand. He takes his job very seriously and never lets anything fall through the cracks. Ian has no issues asking for helper or clarification when he is unsure on what something is, or how to do something. He values being the best teacher he can be and is always willing to learn and grow.”

Thank you all for your service and dedication to EACH and EVERY student in PSD!

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Poudre School District
Integrated Services
Sarah Belleau, Director

National School Psychologist Week 2020

Power of Possibility

Here in Poudre School District, we want our students to reach their potential and develop skills to thrive in school and in life.  November 9-13, 2020 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW), and this year’s theme is “Power of Possibility.” The word “possibility” implies hope, growth, resilience, and renewal. The word “power” implies that things can and will happen. When we focus on what is possible, we have hope that students will grow and thrive and will be empowered to take the action steps necessary to do so.

In these unpredictable times and as we ride the wave of COVID-19, embracing the Power of Possibility is perhaps more important now than ever before. During this year’s NSPW, our school psychologists throughout the district hope to highlight how focusing on possibilities can help lead us to our goals, interests, and growth, even in challenging times.

The Power of Possibility at Home:

There are many ways families can celebrate the power of possibility. As parents and caregivers, you can:

1. Talk to your kids about their strengths and interests. Emphasize that learning and growing require trying new things and that success comes from small steps to a long-term goal

2. Help your children develop positive relationships with peers and adults, and model respectful, caring behaviors with others.

3. Encourage goal setting and mapping out a plan for achieving the goals. Talk with your children about steps they have taken, what worked and what didn’t, and what they might do next.

4. Praise attempts, as well as success, and make sure that you focus on the effort or hard work put into the success.

5. Help your child work through setbacks, or lack of self-confidence, by helping to identify negative thoughts that may suggest concerns about his or her ability to be successful. Help your child realize that setbacks are not permanent or all-encompassing.

More information is available at http://www.nasponline.org

About School Psychologists in Poudre School District:

PSD has 42 School psychologists working in every school and program. They are integral members of school staff who support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. School psychologists apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally by providing direct support to students, such as individualized learning and behavioral assessments to identify students’ strengths and needs, academic and behavioral interventions, counseling, and social skills training. We also consult with teachers, families, and other educators to improve support strategies and school-wide practices and policies. We are in a unique position to ensure students’ success every day, including both small and big accomplishments. More information is available at www.nasponline.org

October is National Physical Therapy Month – A note from PSD Integrated Services Director, Sarah Belleau

Hello! 

Let’s celebrate Poudre School District’s three physical therapists:  Rachel Collier, Nancy Miller and Anna Siliciano!  Our physical therapy team serves students across Poudre School District from early childhood through transition services.  As you can imagine, they are working hard every day to meet student needs in our many schools and programs. 

Here’s a little information about physical therapy in schools:

  • Physical therapy is one of the related services under Part B of IDEA;
  • Physical therapy is provided to support the student’s individualized education program (IEP);
  • Physical therapists work collaboratively with a student’s IEP team and participate in screening, evaluation, program planning, and intervention;
  • As a member of the IEP team, physical therapists design and implement physical therapy interventions—including teaching and training of education personnel and measurement and documentation of progress—to help the student achieve IEP goals;
  • Physical therapists assist students in accessing school environments and benefiting from their educational program and can assist students who have Section 504 needs.

When you see one of our physical therapists this month (or anytime), please take a moment to celebrate the work that they do to support students in our schools!

Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District
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CSSP School Psychologist of the Year Nominations – Deadline approaching to nominate a PSD School Psychologist for this Colorado Society of School Psychologists (CSSP) award.

Please consider nominating a PSD School Psychologist for the 2020 CSSP School Psychologist of the Year. We have some FABULOUS School Psychologists in this district, and this is a wonderful opportunity to recognize them. Information is below. Please note that the deadline for Step 1 has been extended to 10/9/20. Thanks!

The Colorado Society of School Psychologists (CSSP) is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 School Psychologist of the Year. If you would like to nominate an exemplary school psychologist for this honor, please see the guidelines outlined below. Co-workers, supervisors, students, parents, and anyone else who has worked with the nominee in a professional setting may write letters of support. CSSP only considers school psychologists currently working in the school setting. A committee of educational professionals will review all nomination packets submitted. The winner will be announced at the CSSP Fall Conference. Additionally, they will then have the opportunity to be nominated for NASP’s School Psychologist of the Year.

STEP 1- By September 25, 2020: • Nominator will complete a one-page nomination statement describing why the candidate should be considered for this award and complete the contact information attached in this email. In your one-page statement, please give specific examples in any of the following areas: data-based decision making; consultation & collaboration; interventions & instructional support to develop academic skills; interventions & mental health support to develop social & life skills; school-wide practices to promote learning; prevention, crisis prevention & mental health; family-school & community collaboration; diversity in development & learning; research and program evaluation; legal, ethical and professional behavior; performs job in an exemplary manner; earns respect of others; professional memberships and leadership activities.

STEP 2- By October 16, 2020:

• Nominator and/or nominee must collect four, one-page letters of support (one must be from their school(s) of employment) from colleagues, administration, students and/or parents about the candidate’s capabilities with a focus on the domain of school psychology.

• Nominee needs to be a CSSP member and must be a practicing school psychologist in the schools, who spends the majority of his/her time providing direct service to students, teachers, and parents in school settings. Trainers, researchers, or administrators are not eligible for this award.

• Nominee must submit their résumé and/or curriculum vitae, inclusive of any presentations, newsletters and/or publications.

• Nominee must answer the two following essay questions in 1,000 words or less per question. Please include your name and the page number in the header or footer on your résumé and essay questions.

Question 1: Describe one professional accomplishment specifically related to your role as a school psychologist. How has it given you your greatest satisfaction professionally and/or personally?

Question 2: In what ways have you collaborated with and engaged students’ families and community (e.g., school, neighborhoods, agencies, faith-based institutions, etc.) to support student learning and health?

• Nomination materials must follow CSSP guidelines listed above and all documents are due no later than October 16th, 2020.

• Please email nomination statement, nominee résumé, four letters of support, and candidate essay electronically to Leigh Williams at lwilliamsschoolpsych@gmail.com

• A panel of peers will review all materials confidentially and determine the top candidate who will be nominated to represent Colorado for School Psychologist of the Year.

I understand I am responsible for submitting a one-page nomination statement and informing the nominee that they must include four one page letters of support addressed to “CSSP and NASP review committee members” and answer the two essay questions in 1,000 words or less.  

All materials and questions can be sent to Leigh Williams at lwilliamsschoolpsych@gmail.com CSSP Professional Development Program Chair

This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month and an opportunity to celebrate our speech and language pathologists(SLPs) and speech and language pathology assistants(SLPAs).

Our speech and language staff are part of special education and intervention teams in buildings working with students through evaluation and the provision of specialized services.  Their goal is to improve how well a child is learning and performing in the classroom, focusing on a child’s ability to understand and use language.   Our SLPs and SLPAs are trained to work with many types of learning differences including language disorders, social communication challenges, nonverbal and verbal learning disabilities as well as many other language based learning challenges.   We have a fantastic group of specialists in our district and I hope that you will take a moment this month to thank the speech and language pathologist and speech and language pathology assistant working in your school!

 

Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

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33rd Annual Mary Hull Award Recipients Announced!

Dear Poudre School District Community,

The Annual Mary Hull Awards banquet has been a wonderful event highlighting our impressive Poudre School District staff who go above and beyond to support students with disabilities.

Although we are sad that we will not be able to celebrate these dedicated professionals in person, it does not diminish the outstanding work that they do each and every day to support all students!   Congratulations to the nominees and recipients below!  Thank you for all you do!

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 33rd Annual Mary Hull Awards!

Collaborative Award Recipient
Kelsey Sutliff – Olander School for Project-Based Learning (top left in photo)
Nominees:
Landus Boucher – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Heidi Hanson – Shepardson STEM Elementary School
Casey Peitz – Bacon Elementary School
Jenna Riep – Wellington Middle School
Kyla Walker – Lincoln IB World School
Sandra Weeks – Rocky Mountain High School

Honorary Award Recipient
Dylan (DJ) James – Fort Collins High School (top right in photo)
Nominees:
Cindy Ellenwood – Werner Elementary School
Lora Massey – Johnson Elementary School
Michelle Oliberos – Irish Elementary School
Colleen Rohlfs – Irish Elementary School

Specialized Service Professional Award Recipient
Nancy Miller – South Elementary, Middle and High Schools (bottom left in photo)
Nominees:
Donna Boudreau – Speech & Language Dept and Bennett Elementary, an IB World School
Karli Graves – Linton Elementary and Blevins Middle Schools
Patrick Reeves – Laurel Elementary School and Harris Bilingual Immersion School

Special Education Teacher Award Recipient
Sarah Daniel – Traut Core Knowledge School (bottom right in photo)
Nominees:
Jessica Conolly – Kruse Elementary School
Evan Daldegan – Tavelli Elementary School
Kelli Hill – Bethke Elementary School
Mike Himlie – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Cynthia McCarthy – Rice Elementary School
Molly Mross – Wellington Middle School
Marie Romel – Poudre High School
Meghan Rose – Bacon Elementary School
Jamie Westyn – Fossil Ridge High School

 

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Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

National Occupational Therapy Month – a note from PSD Integrated Services Director, Sarah Belleau

During the month of April, we are pleased to celebrate Occupational Therapy professionals!  Occupational Therapy helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational Therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

School based Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are key contributors within the education team. They support a student’s ability to participate in desired daily school activities or “occupations.” They help children to fulfill their role as students by supporting their academic achievement and promoting positive behaviors necessary for learning. School occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation, transportation, and more!

Thank you Occupational Therapists in Poudre School District for all you do to support our students!

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Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

Autism Awareness Month – A note from PSD IS Director, Sarah Belleau

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, April 2nd, was Autism Awareness Day and this is Autism Awareness month.  Poudre School District’s Integrated Services staff provide top quality services to students with autism year round, resulting in impressive outcomes.  This is recognized not just locally but state wide and nationally.  Great work Integrated Services team!  Thank you for supporting all students, and this month, we recognize your work on behalf of students with autism.

Below are some of the statistics regarding autism identification.

  • 1 in 34 boys identified with autism
  • 1 in 144 girls identified with autism
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • Most children were are being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan.
Autism 2
Sarah Belleau, Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District
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This week is National School Social Work Week! 

This week is National School Social Work Week!   We are proud of the work that our many School Social Workers do each day to support students with mental health needs throughout the district.  The national theme is “Beacon of Hope:  School Social Workers – Lighting the Way” and we absolutely agree with this theme!  Our School Social Workers are certainly lighting the way for students and families while emphasizing all aspects of a child’s development, collaborating with other professionals, linking students and families with needed services, and advocating for families and students.

School Social Workers… thank you for your tireless effort to ensure that our students’ emotional, social and educational needs are met.

Please take a moment this week to thank and celebrate your School Social Worker!

Sincerely,
Sarah

Sarah Belleau
Director
Integrated Services
Poudre School District

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Save the Date! 33rd Annual PSD Integrated Services Mary Hull Awards – Thursday, April 23, 2020. We have announced our nominees!

Save the date to attend a dinner presentation in recognition of PSD Integrated Services staff and others who support our program.  Congratulations to the following nominees:

Collaborative Award
Landus Boucher – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Heidi Hanson – Shepardson STEM Elementary School
Casey Peitz – Bacon Elementary School
Jenna Riep – Wellington Middle School
Kelsey Sutliff – Olander School for Project-Based Learning
Kyla Walker – Lincoln IB World School
Sandra Weeks – Rocky Mountain High School

Honorary Award
Cindy Ellenwood – Werner Elementary School
Dylan James – Fort Collins High School
Lora (Lori) Massey – Johnson Elementary School
Michelle Oliberos – Irish Elementary School
Colleen Rohlfs – Irish Elementary School

Specialized Service Professional Award
Donna Boudreau – Lead Speech/Language Clinician and Bennett Elementary, an IB World School
Karli Graves – Linton Elementary and Blevins Middle Schools
Nancy Miller – South Elementary, Middle and High Schools
Patrick Reeves – Laurel Elementary School and Harris Bilingual Immersion School

Special Education Teacher Award
Jessica Connolly – Kruse Elementary School
Evan Daldegan – Tavelli Elementary School
Sarah Daniel – Traut Core Knowledge School
Kelli Hill – Bethke Elementary School
Mike Himlie – Cache La Poudre Elementary, an IB World School
Cynthia McCarthy – Rice Elementary School
Molly Mross – Wellington Middle School
Marie Romel – Poudre High School
Meghan Rose – Bacon Elementary School
Jamie Westyn – Fossil Ridge High School